Welcome to a new world!
I'm an instructor at heart, dedicating my entire life to teaching others whatever I can to improve their own condition. Early in life that involved earning my black belt and teaching kids karate. Later, it was creating interactive software that touched millions of kids lives. Today, those disciplines became the basis for an experiential learning focus to help students with 21st Century Skills and Digital Citizenship. I believe we can reshape education with technology, building dozens of small 'wins' rather than focusing on years-long achievements. Each win encourages students to pursue education throughout their lives, as they become greater than the sum of their parts.
My experience in working and visiting various charter schools within the District and in California distilled my teaching philosophy down to the following:
To taste new water, you must first empty your cup: Open-mindedness is achieved by creating curiosity, and this sparks a passion to learn, but I believe it starts with listening, and then setting examples. I want students to be so enamored with the subject matter their curiosity pushes them to learn more and to ask questions. That's why I always start my lectures with an amazing fact about the thing we're going to discuss. I think this opens the mind to learning.
To teach is to learn, to learn is to teach: I believe small group formats where peer learning can be leveraged is critical to success. I've watched students learn how to defeat hugely complex video games from friends, so why not math problems, why not reading comprehension? I believe students hunger for knowledge but we must be open to the idea that some of that comes from understanding the delivery method. Peer learning is vital to giving each student a chance to have a holistic learning experience.
Don't shoot at the target, shoot at a *spot* on the target: In attempting to learn, we must focus our students on a core principal, then work our way outward to encompass the larger idea. While students learn in different ways, starting with a simple concept and building upon it is a proven methodology to effective instruction. We always need lofty goals to strive for, to push us, and by setting a goal for the stars, we can still touch the sky. I think finding a way to inspire kids to reach above what they think they can do is vital to their growth.
Character, the best testament of humanity - Every single student is a mosaic of the people who have influenced them. It is our job as educators to leave them with more bits (and bytes ) that are good, noble, and kind, and show them that integrity and character are the foundations upon which they build themselves and their community up. This positivism is 'paid forward' as each student interacts with others in their journey through life, leaving goodness in their wake.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
I hope we get the chance to journey on a path of learning, together.
October - 2018